We live in a fast-paced world of social media where we share our daily lives with our friends and followers online. Our kids are not left out as they are now taking centre stage, creating fun content to the admiration of online contacts, accumulating thousands of likes and shares, and becoming social media celebs but sometimes we need to pause and ask ourselves if our kids are living only for online adulation or if there is a balance between their intellectual wellbeing and their social activities. As a parent, you need to cut down on the online frenzy and place your kid(s) on a diet of books that will nourish their minds and build their character.
Here are six categories of books your kids should be reading instead of dancing all day on Tiktok.
1. Adventure books
Let your kids escape into the intriguing world of adventure with adventure books. Alice in wonderland, the magic faraway tree, Treasure Island, King Solomon mines, Around the world in 80 days, books by Cyprian Ekwensi and other Nigerian/African adventure writers will build up their love for adventure.
2. Science fiction
The world is pretty much governed by science and the laws of science apply to the child in Uyo as much as it does to the child in Canada. A good way of introducing your child to science is by giving them science fiction books. There are stories about the planets, elements, metals, stories about rivers, mountains, etc. I read a lot of science fiction as a kid and in an alternative universe, I am an astronaut and space explorer. You can get science fiction books in your local bookstore in Uyo or wherever you are in the world or you can buy them on Amazon.
3. Develop their mind with poetry
I know your child can recite:
“I see the moon
The moon sees me
God bless the moon
And God Bless me”
And other nursery rhymes learnt in school but you can take it a notch higher, by introducing them to poetry volumes. You can easily get poetry volumes at libraries and physical and online book stores. Let your child read poetic lines, ponder on the meaning and write too. Who knows? You could be raising the next Christopher Okigbo.
4. Let them stay in touch with their history
It’s quite sad that history is no longer part of the Nigerian school curriculum for some inexplicable reason. Your child needs to understand their history to shape their perspective and worldview, so buy history books for them. Let them read about the ancient civilizations, the African and European empires of old and the history of their country and state. They would thank you in future for teaching them history.
5. Build their religious lives with holy books
The Christian faith admonishes that “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it”. However, the woke school of thought opine that parents should not force their religion on their children but should allow their children to decide religion for themselves when they come of age. However, the traditional and conservative school of thought hold the view that parents need to introduce religion into their children’s lives as a major way of grooming and raising them properly. I think that ideally, you should teach your child your faith, and if they decide to leave when they come of age, then it’s their decision and the consequences will be borne solely by them. So let your child read the bible and if you are of the Muslim faith, the Quran. These books contain sound precepts, instructions and guidance that your child needs.
6. Binge on the storybooks
If you want your child’s imagination to be wide, if you want your child to build their vocabulary, if you want your child to be knowledgeable, if you want your child to learn fast, if you want your child to be creative, let them read good storybooks across different genres. I recommend Aesop fables.
Reading is one of the best ways you can help your child develop a sound mind, and character, and stand out from their contemporaries. Let reading be a daily activity for your child. Uyo Book Club has books of all categories that you can borrow to give to your child to read.